The effects of the loss of visa-free access to Canada back in June and Hurricane Irma three months later are being blamed for Antigua and Barbuda recording a $100 million fiscal deficit this year.
The information was revealed by Prime Minister Gaston Browne at Wednesday’s end of year Cabinet media briefing.
“Whereas in the previous two years we were able to announce that we had a balanced budget, unfortunately for this year we will see a deficit of about $100 million,” the PM announced.
A fiscal deficit occurs when a government’s total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money that it may have borrowed.
Browne had earlier pointed to the loss of the Canadian access as having a significant impact on earnings from the Caribbean country’s Citizenship Investment Programme. The ravages inflicted by Hurricane Irma in September also meant that income from tourism was heavily hit. According to the PM, the treasury saw about a $15 million reduction in revenue for that month.